General History of Indian Key
War of the Rebellion
By Jerry Wilkinson

     These are copies of pages 711 -712 from series I, volume IX of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the war of the Rebellion of the capture of the British registered schooner Indian captured by the Union gunboat Vicksburg on April 30, 1864.

"Report of Lieutenant - Commander Braine, U. S. Navy, regarding the
capture of the British schooner Indian.

                    U.S. S. VICKSBURG,
Lat. 32 degrees 45minutes N., Long. 78 degrees W., April 30, 1864.

     "SIR: I have the honor to report that this morning, at 4: 30 a. m., I discovered a sail to the eastward and gave chase; boarded her, and found her to be the English schooner Indian, belonging to Nassau, New Providence. I found no name on her stern, and that she had no cargo save 1 hogshead of palm oil, said to have been picked up at sea, and I also found that she had kept no log book. Her master, J. M. Celeste, claims to be bound from Belize, Honduras, to Havana; says he could not get into Havana, owing to northerly winds; claims to have drifted past Havana; he then ran his vessel into Indian Key, coast of Florida, from whence he sailed 22d April, 1864; since then he claims to have drifted 510 miles in the Gulf Stream, unable to get to Havana. His crew state that they have been lying in this vicinity waiting for an opportunity to run the blockade. I deem him suspicious from these facts and from the position I boarded him, latitude 32 degrees 45 minutes N., longitude 78 degrees W., an excellent position to run into one of the North Carolina inlets. I find also that in November, 1863 he sailed from Nassau, New Providence, to Matamoras, where he took a cargo of cotton, intending to go to Havana, but, owing to a gale of wind, went to Campeche. There repairing his schooner, he proceeded to Belize, Honduras, from whence he last sailed, going into Indian Key, a blockaded portion of the coast of Florida. His crew list is imperfect, and one man on board not accounted for. When chased bv me he stood to the northward and eastward with the current, when he could have stood to the southward and westward. I do not think he ever intended to go to Havana, but running into Indian Key and failing to get a cargo, has run up the coast intending to try and enter one of the North Carolina  inlets. 
     I have sent this vessel to Washington, D. C., in charge of Acting Master's Mate Robert B. Elder, with a prize crew of six persons; also the master and cook of the prize. I have sent a copy of the above to Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee.
          I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
                                     D. L. BRAINE
                            Lieutenant - Commander."

"Hon. Gideon Welles
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C"

Use Back Arrow to return to reading Indian Key General History


E-Mail to editor

Return to Historeum